Starbucks has launched an instant coffee - Via. Brand pundits are saying this is another signal of the brand’s demise. Many reminisce to the days when Starbucks brewed each cup by hand using the La Marzocco. Yet, Starbucks has been using “push button” technology now for years. Why? To improve product and service quality. The La Marzoccos were tricky to calibrate resulting in an inconsistent brew and in more down time that slowed customer service. The push-button machines, while not flawless, were more consistent and faster.
Most people, no offense, make a lousy cup of coffee at home. How many coffee drinkers do you know that actually grind their beans and stick the grounds in a coffee press every morning? And how many coffee drinkers know what the correct portion or grind are, store their coffee in an airtight container and ensure their beans are no longer than seven days old?? (My parents love Starbucks coffee but I shudder when I read the date stamps – of OPEN coffee bags still in use)
People love convenience. Via will finally provide all the coffee lovers out there who don’t want to fuss with coffee brewing or who don’t feel like getting dressed in the morning to grab a Starbucks, a pretty decent cup of coffee. And as long as it does not distract management from their immediate priority - fixing the retail business - a great innovation in a very "stale" category.